I love making these cookies because they look so pretty when you’re done! The other nice thing with this is that you can modify it to suit your taste. I used blackberry jam with pieces, but raspberry, strawberry, etc also tastes good. I recommend using a good quality jam because you can really taste it. I like making this a day or two ahead of time so that the jam soaks into the cookie a little bit. You do need cookie cutters for the fancier shapes, but you can make do with different sized bowls (as long as they have sharp edges) or ever free-hand cutting with a knife. Two warnings: 1. this is a time consuming recipe, and 2. the dough is soft, so it takes some getting used to.
Ingredients1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup light brown sugar 2/3 cup almond meal (or very finely ground almonds) 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder 1 large egg 2.5 cups all purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup jam (I used blackberry) Optional: confectioner’s sugar (to sprinkle on top)
1. Using an electric beater, beat the butter and brown sugar at med speed until well mixed (~5 min).
2. Add almond meal, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Beat on low for another minute until its mixed in.
3. Add the egg. Beat on low for another minute until it is mixed in.
4. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low until a dough forms (it will be soft).
5. Using your hands (cover with flour so it doesn’t stick), wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins.
6. On a floured surface, roll the dough until it is ~1/8-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many as shapes as possible. Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut the center out of half of the shapes.
7. Gently, place the solid shapes and the shapes with the centers removed on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 min at 350 F (edges will turn a very light golden color).
8. Take the scraps from steps 6 and 7, and roll out again. Repeat steps 6-8 as many times as needed to use up the dough. Side note: instead of mixing the centers that you cut in Step 6 back into the dough, you can bake these and just make smaller versions of the cookie (they just won’t have a center with the jam showing through).
9. When the cookies have cooled completely, spread a generous layer of jam on the solid cookie. Place the shape with the center removed gently on top. Optional: You can dust the top with confectioner’s sugar. Do this before sandwiching the cookies together to make the cookie look neater. Put the shapes with the center removed on a separate plate. Place a spoonful of the confectioner’s sugar in a small mesh tea strainer (or similar device). Gently move the strainer across the top while tapping it to make the sugar fall. When you are satisfied with how much sugar is on top, then you can place this cookie on top of the solid shape with jam.